Former Briarcliff Manor deejay Howard Stern yesterday got into an epic clash with Gary Dell’Abate, the show’s executive producer. Stern was angry that Dell’Abate (a.k.a. “Bababooey”) broadcast a prank phone call on the post-show program without first asking Stern’s permission.
During this already uncomfortable exchange, an argument within an argument broke out. Sal “The Stockbroker” Governale entered the studio, claiming he tried to tell Dell’Abate not to play the prank call without asking Stern first. Dell’Abate exploded with expletives at the writer, who was telling the truth but appeared to be kissing up to Stern. It was at this point that I realized that I’m almost always going to side with Dell’Abate over both Stern and Governale, because Dell’Abate seems to be the among the most prepared, justified and well-intended member of the crew.
That got me thinking: With whom would I side if two or more Stern show personnel were arguing, if both/all arguments were equally valid? So, I came up with an arbitrary list of 13 active Stern show regulars (no Jackie Martling or “Stuttering” John Melendez here), ranking them from my most frequent argument ally to my least-frequent argument ally. The list does not include infrequent guests, such as staff members’ family or significant others.
Here are my top three allies, with the rest of the Stern crew listed after the break:
1. Fred Norris – Rarely speaks, but when he does, he’s usually the best voice of reason. I’d actually give Dell’Abate the edge here, but Norris is a Yankee fan while Dell’Abate roots for the Mets. He can be a bit of a music snob, though. Agreement score: 9.5.
2. Gary DellÃ¢â‚¬â„¢Abate – As I mentioned, the guy seems to be the most prepared, justified and nicest guy on the entire staff. He also can remember the details of some of the most obscure moments in show history, so he is a trusted authority. Agreement score: 9.
3. Artie Lange – Perhaps the most naturally funny member of the staff, Lange’s well-placed punchlines, self-effacing nature and generous attitude make me empathize for the guy when the staff is picking on his weight or history with gambling and drugs. Plus, he’s a huge Yankees and New York Giants fan. Agreement score: 8.5.